On Blind Dates
What is your opinion of blind dates? My parents refuse to let me go out with anybody unless I know something about him beforehand. Some of my girl friends can go out with anybody, whether they know the person or not. And often they call me up and tell me they have a date for me, but I’m never allowed to go out on such parties. How is a girl ever going to meet someone she might have a chance to marry, if she can never get acquainted with new people?
Experience proves that there is a great deal of danger in blind dates, and that there is much wisdom in the policy pursued by your parents.
In these times it is difficult enough for a girl to avoid dangerous and sometimes morally fatal entanglements even when she does not take chances on dating with unknown and possibly designing characters.
You should be aware of some of the dangers that have always been found to be connected with accepting blind dates.
The utter freedom that is permitted to your girl friends by their parents makes it very possible that the source of their contacts with strangers may be suspect. They probably meet such men hanging around taverns, or public dance halls, or cocktail bars.
This does not infallibly mean that the men they meet are bad, but the chances are high enough to render it foolhardy for a girl to rush out to spend an evening with one of them.
Oftentimes such men are already married, are in town for a few days, and are looking for girl companions with whom they can have what they call “a good time”.
And it is not uncommon for such to lie about their marital status when looking for girls to take out in a strange city. Often, too, they are divorced men, or men who have made their own home life unhappy, who frequent the taverns in quest of consolation or excitement through chance contacts with girls who don’t care much what they do.
There are some blind dates that are not especially dangerous, and I am sure that your parents would recognize such. If a reputable friend, from a good family, has out-of-town relatives to entertain, about whose background she knows something, it would not be too imprudent to accept a date with one of them and to make one of a party for the evening.
The one thing that is important is that a girl have some positive knowledge that she is not going out with a married man, a divorced man, or an unprincipled man. She cannot know that if she accepts stone-blind dates with strangers.
On Exclusive Dates
I am 17 years old, just graduated from high school., and in my first year at college. I don’t want to get married until I am at least 20, if then.
I would like to go out with different boys now and then, but I don’t want to be tied down to steady company-keeping. This seems to be all but impossible today.
If I am seen at a party with a certain young man, no one else will ask me for a date unless it becomes publicly known that I have broken up with that particular boy.
In other words, if you go out once or twice with a certain boy, everybody else seems to think you are already bound to that person for good. Do I have to either give up dating boys entirely, or else stick to one during my whole college career?
We have heard complaints about this unfortunate social condition repeatedly. It is not a healthy thing at all. It is even responsible for some unhappy marriages because the young people involved had little chance to become acquainted with anybody but the first partner they happened to take out.
The responsibility for this situation may be traced to the fact that there is so much exclusive dating and regular company-keeping among the very young, even in the early years of high school.
Some school authorities and even parents seem to think nothing of permitting freshmen and sophomore high school students to have their “steady dates.”
Since that is so common, it is natural that many young people should feel that by the time a person reaches college, he or she must have a “steady”, or must want to make a “steady” of the first partner that comes along.
If you really are serious about not wanting to get married for several years, and about making the most of your chance at education, the best thing by all odds would be to do very little dating.
If you go out often, even with different persons, you may find yourself in love before you know it, no matter what different plans you have laid.
Giving up dates, which should not be too difficult for a 17 year old freshman, would obviate all your worries about people taking it for granted that you are all but engaged when you go out with a boy.
Should Engaged Girls Accept Dates?
I am engaged to be married to a good Catholic girl and she has accepted my ring. However I am signed up for three years in the Navy and will be away from home most of the time. Now my fiancee has asked my permission to accept dates with other men for special parties, dances, etc., while I am gone. I don’t like the idea at all, but would like to know what you think of it, and whether I should grant the permission.
There is something in your girl’s favor in the fact that she asks you for the permission at all.The world is full of scatterbrained, disloyal, unprincipled girls who would not even think of asking their fiance about such a matter at all.
They just go ahead accepting dates, in the absence of their fiance, with anybody who comes along.
You may thank God you are not engaged to one of these.There is something against your girl’s character, however, in the fact that she should want such a permission.
Good Catholic girls, of whom there are many in the world, simply would not think of doing any dating with others once they have been definitely engaged. They realize that dating is for those who are free to marry; that it is always a danger, even in the best of circumstances; that it can lead to many complications for a girl who has already promised her hand and heart to a certain man.
To the girl of high character, therefore, it is no problem and not too great sacrifice to accept no dates while her fiance is absent. Only the most extraordinary circumstances, such as would readily be understood by her partner, should make for an exception to this rule.
Of course, the expectation of a boy that his fiancee will not accept dates must be accompanied by the promise that he will do no dating either. If the boy intends to date while he is away from home, or if he finds the opportunities to do so irresistible, he should be consistent and not merely give the girl permission to date other boys, but actually call the whole engagement off.
Strictly speaking, we can say that engagement means that two people say to each other: “We are all through dating-except with each other.”
Waiting for a Proposal
I am 27 years old and have been going with the same man for four years. He has never done any serious talking about our getting married, and yet he resents it very much if I even think of going out with anybody but himself.
He leaves me with the impression that some day he will talk about marriage but at the same time that that day will not be for a long time.
I do not see any serious obstacles to his settling down, but am at a loss to know whether I should wait for him to get good and ready to speak about marriage or give him up. Can you advise me?
This is far too common a problem in the world today, even among Catholics. Let me tell you frankly a hidden factor that is often present in the problem, though it would be very wrong to assume that this factor is present in yours.
Very often experience proves that dilly-dallying with the idea of marriage on the part of a man is due to the fact that he has managed to induce a girl-friend into a more or less continuous habit of sin, with the effect that he is sinfully living as if he were married and yet retaining his independence and freedom from lasting responsibility.
As time goes on, he becomes more and more enamored with his state, entirely content to indulge in forbidden privileges and to put off any serious idea of marriage.
This, of course, represents the acme of selfishness and evil, but all sin is selfishness, and selfishness grows incredibly with frequently repeated sins.
Apart from this angle, which always demands as a first and elementary condition of solving the problem the complete renunciation of sin on the part of the girl, there may be obstacles to marriage in the mind of the man that must be overcome.
He may think he has not enough money, or that he has not a good enough job, or that he owes it to his parents not to leave them for a long time to come.
A girl has a right, after going with a man for even less than four years, to draw such objections out into the open and to insist on their being discussed freely.
She is in a good position if she finds her friend jealous of her companionship, and should use any expression of this as an occasion for discussing the future.
If he refuses to be definite about plans for the future, the odds are that he won’t ever want to get married. In that case it would be good to drop him.
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